With the recent news that Jenny Slate and husband Dean Fleischer-Camp have split and will divorce, the Marcel fandom is left wondering if this means the end of this beloved shell. After first bursting onto the scene with Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, which premiered at AFI Fest in 2010, winning an award for Best Short Film, Marcel won the hearts of YouTube viewers in stop-motion documentary-style videos that explored the hardships of being a tiny shell creature in a normal-sized world.
Marcel, a tiny shell with one googly eye, a painted-on mouth and the tiniest pair of shoes, addresses the camera while moving about his environment precariously and answering the questions of the never-seen narrator, nicknamed Windy, and played by Fleischer-Camp. The tales Marcel shares range from knee-slapping hilarious to downright poignant and he details the day-to-day struggles his tiny shell self faces. Moments that would vanish from our memory almost immediately can cause serious problems when you are shell-sized, such as being knocked unconscious by a stinky shoe, or even the inconvenience of insect transportation.
Since Marcel is the brainchild of Slate and Fleischer-Camp, who are no longer together, does this mean curtains for the young, innocent shell, now caught in the crossfire? Or will the former couple be capable of sacrificing their own discomfort for the sake of their art and their shell, in the grand tradition of Sonny and Cher, who kept the show together after they divorced?
Throughout his videos and later his books, Marcel has taught his fans how to triumph over adversity, and how to take the lot you have been dealt in life and make the best of what you have. Whether it was losing his sister to a balloon-holding tragedy, or overcoming his hang-gliding fears and jumping aboard that Dorito, Marcel reminded us to “smile… because it’s worth it.” I can only hope and pray that Marcel’s words of wisdom reach his creators and give them the strength to keep it together for the sake of Marcel and his loyal fandom.
What do you think? Should Jenny and Dean rise above their differences for the sake of Marcel?
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